Grantham Journal Children’s Fund helps Alexander, 7

Alexander Needham enjoys his new sensory equipment.
Alexander Needham enjoys his new sensory equipment.
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A boy with a life-limiting condition now has a dedicated sensory space in his home, after the Grantham Journal Children’s Fund stepped in.

The charity bought a corner sensory unit for Alexander Needham after learning that he has an extremely rare neurodegenerative disorder called Batten disease, which affects cognitive impairment, sight and motor skills and causes seizures.

David Conlon and James Husbands

David Conlon and James Husbands

Alexander, who turned seven earlier this month, can now relax at home and get enjoyment from watching multi-coloured bubble tubes and fibre optics.

Alexander lives with his family in Grantham. His mum, Sarah, said: “Having a specialised sensory unit at home has made such a difference. It has enabled Alexander to get more sensory stimulation whilst being able to spend quality time with family in the comfort of our own home.”

The Needham family are part of the Grantham Disabled Children Society, where they have made friends who are helping them through this difficult time. Among them is Micky Stokes, who is helping to raise money for ‘Alexander’s Fund’ to allow the Needhams to make lasting memories as a family. Money is also being raised for Willoughby School in Bourne, a special school for pupils with learning needs, which is attended by both Alexander andMicky’s son Ryan, 6.

Sarah said: “We are so overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone who has helped so far in helping us fund-raise to enable us as a family to make lots of special memories with our special little boy.

Micky Stokes and Victoria Allen

Micky Stokes and Victoria Allen

“None of this would have happened if it wasn’t down to my sister, Carrie-Ann Beck, and a great friend, Micky Stokes, who have given up so much of their time in organising events and going out and getting support from others. For this we’re extremely grateful.”

Other parents from Willoughby School have shown their support. On Saturday, parent governor David Conlon and headteacher James Husbands completed a 26-mile sponsored walk around Rutland Water, while Micky and Victoria Allen did 13 miles.

Today (Friday), a tombola stall will be set up in the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre, followed tomorrow by a stall on Grantham Market.

All money raised will be split equally between Alexander’s Fund and Willoughby School, which will be used to buy specialist equipment.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/alexanders-fund-willoughby-school